The Ostrich approach

“Ducking questions
Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley is an unusual politician. She refuses to talk to the media about two great issues in her riding – the decline of the tobacco industry and native affairs.
Recently, she refused to be interviewed by the Toronto Star. Her reason – as expressed through a spokesman in her office – is that issues involving agriculture and native affairs are not her responsibility.
“The minister is only the local MP and not the lead on either file,” wrote spokesman Timothy Veil.
Only the local MP? Agriculture and native affairs not her responsibility?
Scores of former growers in Norfolk are in desperate financial shape because of the decline of the tobacco industry. Are these people no longer a concern to Finley? Has she nothing to say?
Tobacco growers seemed important to Finley in the last two elections. She defeated veteran Liberal MP Bob Speller in the 2004 election, partly on her promise that the Conservative party would do more to help tobacco growers leave the industry.
Finley’s riding is home to Caledonia and the two-year-old native land claims dispute. As MP, does she have nothing to say?
Why should constituents bother to express their views or bring their problems to Finley if she ducks issues on which she is not the lead? Finley’s boss, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is no friend of the media. He has gone further than any previous prime minister to tighten control over communication between Conservatives and reporters.
But Finley has hit a new low in thumbing her nose at the media. If she doesn’t take questions about agriculture and native affairs, which issues will she talk about?
Finley is the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Must newspapers and the radio stations in her riding limit their questions to citizenship and immigration?
Does the no-talk rule apply to all Conservative MPs? Must the media direct all questions to the prime minister and appropriate cabinet ministers?
If Finley no longer wants to do her job as MP, including speaking to the media, the voters of Haldimand-Norfolk at the next election will choose someone who does.
 Ducking questions and solutions like an Ostrich does not work, it tends to make most people even more angry at the PM, Conservatives, makes them feel abused some more too
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